Courageous Creativity In Business Interview Series: Marcy Nelson-Garrison


As I get clearer and clearer about my business, one of the things I’m passionate about is Courageous Creativity.  I wanted to know how my colleagues and women entrepreneurs I admire bring out courageous creativity in their lives and businesses.  I knew I wanted to start with the Guest Business Muses of my Business Fusion Studio.

First in the Courageous Creativity in Business Interview Series is Marcy Nelson-Garrison, MA, LP, CPCC: creative catalyst, product mentor, writer, artist and founder of the Coaching Toys online store. Marcy helps clients create products aligned with their personal manifestos.

Tell us a little more about your business.

Like many creative people I wear many hats and I have two primary businesses. I founded the Coaching Toys online store as a way to advocate for creative processes that facilitate personal development and to provide coaches, counselors and healers with a venue to showcase their products. I’m proud to say this year we celebrated our 10-year anniversary.I am also a life and business coach. I help professionals (particularly women) take a stand for what they know and express that wisdom through products and programs. I’ve been immersed in all things “product” for many years, reviewing products for choice Magazine, running the online store and teaching about product development. My clients always benefit from the depth of my expertise and my extensive resource list and more recently, with the addition of my P.I.N.K. Model the work has become more about empowerment. I believe that women’s leadership, creativity and authentic expression are needed for advancement in all arenas of life and business and feel excited and humbled to be a part of that movement.

How does creativity show up for you in your business?

I don’t think there is anything I do in my business that would not benefit from a little creative infusion. That said, I’m realizing as respond to this question that I don’t bring creativity to everything. Creativity definitely shows up when I’m working on articles, new programs, products or web graphics – the obvious. I could also bring creativity to the not so obvious things like systems and infrastructure. All of a sudden those things seem a lot more interesting.

What do you do to prime your creative pump?

I really believe creativity requires stimulus. New ideas come from putting two unrelated things together in a new way. My creativity gets pretty stalled if I’m all work and buried in my to do list. I need to regularly get input from outside of my immediate situation or surroundings. I’ve written about the 3 circles of stimulus and I use them all:

1. Close to Home (pulling a book off your shelf, visiting Facebook, reviewing with materials or playing with art supplies)
2. The Cognitive Mall (using cognitive strategies like SCAMPER, or actively seeking information from other fields of thought)
3. The Cosmic Soup (all the ways we can access intuition and spiritual guidance).

What do you do when you feel stuck or blocked on a project?

When I am feeling stuck, the first place I personally go is the cosmic soup. I use a journaling technique called non-dominant hand dialogue and I have a chat with my spirit helpers and various archetypes. I might also do a “medicine walk” which is an intentional walk holding a question in mind and allowing nature to give me an answer. The other thing I do is set it aside and work on something else. This approach comes from many years as a visual artist. I found it helped if I had several drawings or paintings going at once. If I got stuck on one I could shift to another. That strategy almost always gave me fresh eyes when I returned to the picture that was set aside and the next steps would be clear.

What would you consider your bigger passion project? What do you feel you are here to create?

This has shifted a bit over the years. From the outside, I think many people would say my passion is all about creating products and that’s not quite true for me. I absolutely love products but what I love more is the impact a product can have to shift awareness or open the heart or create new  visibility. This is still an important part of what I’m called to do but not all of it. I think the bigger passion project is to help women take off the blinders to their power and the gifts of the feminine. I love how Christina Donnell (psychotherapist and shaman) speaks about the anima – it is the authority that comes from the unseen. Our society trusts the seen, the concrete. I want to see the anima fully embraced and honored. I want to play a part in helping women express their deep feminine wisdom in authentic and courageous ways. I want to see more women stepping into a bigger arena. My Manifesto Magic class is really grounded in this passion as is my P.I.N.K. Model.

Where are you being called to go that feels like a brave journey?

It’s really about sharing my wisdom and stepping into a bigger arena. I am feeling the beginning call to write a book based on my P.I.N.K. Model tentatively called; Walking The P.I.N.K. Circle.(P.I.N.K. stands for; power, imagination, nurturing and knowing.) The courageous edge is that it is not about creating products – the thing I’m known for. It’s about empowerment and personal development. It is exciting to me is that I will be able to draw on my experience as a psychologist, my experience as a coach, my experience as an artist and as an entrepreneur. It’s a bit scary and my gremlins want me to think I’m not up to it and we all know those pesky voices lie. Writing a book calls me to stretch, invite plenty of creativity and grow. I heard Janet Goldstein (former New York Publisher) say be careful what you choose to write about because spending that much time with a topic will change you. This is a change I’m ready for.

What encouraging words can you offer to our community about claiming their courageous creativity in business?

I think the most important thing is to really nurture your creative urges and in the early stages when they are new, tender baby shoots sprouting out of the ground, protect them. Give them room to grow, give them lots of attention. When they are sufficiently rooted and sturdy, seek feedback. Feedback can be a powerful creative partner. It allows for further growth and each iteration will be better.

Where can our creative community find out more about you and your business?

Do check out the Coaching Toys Store at If you ever have questions about what type of tool might enhance a workshop or event you are planning, give me a call. To learn more about my coaching business visit As a free gift, I invite you to take my P.I.N.K. Assessment. It explores your relationship with Power, Imagination, Nurturing and Knowing and gives you a worksheet for personal development. You can download it here:

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